William E. Strayhorn: Vice President - westray1@usa.net

William Ellington Strayhorn

Born July 14, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents James & Helen Strayhorn. With two (2) brothers and three (3) sisters, family life was fast paced. Graduated from Westinghouse High School and subsequently attended Point Park University.

In 1963 began working at Duquesne Light Company [DLC] (a local electric utility). Served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967 (including a tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam). After discharge, resumed employment with DLC. The focus, learning various union positions to broaden the experience level to enhance future career opportunities. Marriage and children, as well as, a new found spiritual focus provided completeness to all previous endeavors.

In time, management took notice of abilities demonstrated and a management position was offered. While nuclear energy was a conceptual challenge, the decision to accept was clear. The first nuclear breeder reactor at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, presented a learning curve that was intense. Just two years after beginning this uncertain journey, events at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania (the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history), changed the industry culture. Excellence in operations was a priority.

Gaining knowledge and experience, along with making application, ensured upward mobility. Soon advancement became a reality. Promoted to a management staff position, responsibilities included: all personnel security, nuclear fuel security & accountability and maintaining vital personnel radiological records. The need to demonstrate competence through prudent actions provided confirmation of abilities.

In time, the nuclear industry standards strengthened and management re-structuring provided a pathway to focus on a specific area of expertise. . contract administration. The challenge was tremendous, managing numerous projects costing millions of dollars. Competence and integrity were important factors in making this assignment.

During the mid 1990’s, career interest and the development of a family organization merged. The legacy of the late composer Billy Strayhorn evoked memories of participation in various musical activities. The orchestra, marching band and summer concerts enjoyed through music education contributed to an appreciation of the arts. Thus began, efforts to contribute in a meaningful way to the success not only of BSSI’s endeavors but more importantly to help in providing just recognition to the great American composer Billy Strayhorn.

Early on, there was a need to re-write and clearly define the contract for the business manager. Contributions in the area of contract administration came to the forefront. With legal counsel review, a new contract was approved and provided a path for BSSI to continue on the learning curve through the difficult times ahead in an ever changing industry. It became even more personalized when my brother became president of Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc. (BSSI) in 2005.

In 2009 my brother resigned. The Board of Directors approved my position as Vice president. With past experience focused on excellence in operations, this transferable application will ensure goals and objectives of BSSI become a reality, through the consensus of leadership.